We don’t often review non-fiction books but when regular Gobblefunkeder Sophie Suelzle came across Ask Me Anything …, we knew it was worth a look.
Being a teenager isn’t easy. I can only speak from my previous experience of being a teenage girl, but I remember that at times it was very hard – a rollercoaster of emotions – often awkward, sometimes devastating, deeply confusing, heartbreaking and heart-skippingly sweet.
The concept of this book came from author Rebecca Sparrow’s experiences speaking to teenage girls in high schools. At the end of her talks there would be a question and answer session. As no one was ever willing to ask the first question, Rebeca would begin by saying that they could ask her about absolutely anything, whether it be if she believed in god or about her first failed marriage (hot tip, apparently ‘don’t have a secret marriage in Vegas’.)
But during these sessions Rebecca also noticed that there were some questions her audience found too personal, painful or embarrassing to ask – ‘questions that eat you up inside but that you can’t bear to say aloud because you’re worried what everyone will think’ – for these she asked her listeners to write down their query anonymously on a piece pf paper. And these are the questions that are answered in this book.
The 65 questions are divided into four chapters covering friendship, life, love and family. The questions vary – just a handful include:
- How do you know if your friends really like you?
- Where do I find courage?
- Why can’t I be more social?
- How can I feel closer to my mum who died?
- Is it awkward when a guy knows you have your period?
- What is the best way to incorporate flashbacks into a short story?
- How do you tell a boy you’ve known your whole life that you’re in love with him?
- How do I tell my parents I’m pregnant?
- How do I tell my mum I don’t like her cooking? (The answer: I’m sorry but DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH?)
This little book is a treasure trove of honest, heartfelt, often hilarious and above all excellent advice for teenage girls – a soothing balm of practical, comforting wisdom. Often Rebecca will answer the questions herself, but she also employs the help of a range of experts including social advocate, campaign leader and crisis councillor Leila Abukar, authors Nick Earls and Zoe Foster Blake, bushfire survivor, mining engineer and athlete Turia Pitt as well as clinical psychologists, CEOs and more.
There are also lists of recommended resources, with websites, books and telephone numbers girls can use if they need more advice or help. A wonderful resource for young girls, and a great reminder that there is no such thing as a silly question (and that most of the time we are all wondering similar things, but are too afraid to ask).
- Author: Rebecca Sparrow
- ISBN: 9780702253874
- Publisher: University of Queensland Press
- Age range: 11+